In 1954, visionary director Ishiro Honda wowed audiences with Gojira, his tale of the horrors of the atomic bomb. It was just as much a political critique as it was a horror film. This same year the American version was released [Godzilla] and the Japanese have been fighting scores of monsters ever since! Ca-ching!
The next monster to terrorize the Japanese countryside was Rodan, which is actually two mutant pterosaurs along with their two offspring. The story begins in a mining village where workers keep disappearing in one of the mine’s deepest shafts. Investigators are sent in and they discover a few giant prehistoric bugs who have quite an appetite. After this, the Pterosaurs appear and begin to unleash their reign of terror.
The script is good, especially the ending scenes which are truly heartbreaking. But what is missing is the deep social and political commentary that made Gojira a masterpiece.
Rodan follows a simple formula that many horror films before and after it follow: Monster appears. Monster kills. Humans are no match for the monster at first, but find a way to destroy it in the end.
My biggest complaint are the pterosaurs which pale in comparison to the look of the original Godzilla monster. Granted, Godzilla was a guy in a suit but this gave the monster an organic feel. The Rodans look a bit cheesy to me and the repetitive use of the same shot over and over again, gets on your nerves pretty quick.
I know this film is beloved by many but it doesn’t do a lot for me. I’m a huge fan of Gojira [The Blu Ray edition is gorgeous] but Rodan leaves me feeling a bit disappointed.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.